Overall wine quality has improved significantly over the last two and a half decades. Vast strides have been made in the science and technology of winemaking, growers have readapted back-to-the-earth farming techniques, and there has been widespread planting of international grapes. These three reasons alone are responsible for much of the improvement in quality, which has led to its rise in popularity.
Here are some of the specific changes in winemaking and viticulture over the last twenty-five year:
More attention is paid to the individual vineyards, clonal selection, and trellis systems
More care is taken to match grape varieties with specific sites
There is far less filtering of wine, leading to a fuller, more complex, and natural taste
Oak is used far more judiciously
Wine alcohol levels have reached historical highs
Sustainability has become the international buzz word in viticulture
The number of vines planted per acre has increased dramatically. This has allowed the viticulturist more freedom to produce better grapes.
Screw-caps are gradually replacing corks on more than just inexpensive wines: screw-caps seal 75 percent of Australian and 93 percent of New Zealand wines
Global warming may be real!
Between 1960 and 1969, grape harvesting in Burgundy, France, aaon average began September 27. From 2000 to 2004, grape harvesting began closer to the first week of September.
To help offset the effects of a shorter growing season, some viticulturists have begun planting grapes vertically rather than horizontally to avoid excess sun.